Wedelia - Singapore Daisy

Sphagneticola trilobata   

Sphagneticola trilobata also known as Wedelia and Singapore Daisy is a member of the daisy family Asteraceae which is native to Central and South America from Mexico to Argentina

Wedelia - Singapore Daisy

Singapore Daisy Sphagneticola trilobata has become a major environmental weed in many of warmer parts of the world in particular the warmer eastern parts of Australia where it spreads rapidly climbing over and smothering low growing vegetation. The dense ground cover it forms also inhibits natives from germinating due to lack of space, lack of sunlight and lack of water. It grows well in most habitats from roadsides, coastal areas, bush land, rainforest, riparian areas, wetlands and wasteland. Singapore Daisy can be very difficult to control and can re-shoot from nodes on stems. It is mainly dispersed by human cultivation as well as through the illegal dumping of garden clippings onto vacant land.

Singapore Daisy Sphagneticola trilobata has been declared a Category 1 invasive weed in South Africa. In terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (No 43 of 1983) land occupiers and owners are legally obliged to control Sphagneticola trilobata.

Management of Singapore Daisy
The first step in the control of Singapore Daisy is preventative that is not to plant it and to remove existing plants within the landscape. Take care when dumping vegetation to prevent regeneration and further spread. It is advisable to put all cut or removed vegetation into black plastic bags and leave in the hot sun for a few days to kill it before sending it to the municipal dump.  Mowing or slashing of Wedelia infested areas should be avoided because this will cause the development of new plants. Attempting to uproot Singapore Daisy from the areas where it grows unless it covers a very small area is pointless because it will simply re-grow from the smallest pieces of stem or roots that are left behind. Small plants may be hand pulled, but be sure to remove roots and rhizomes.

The most effective method of eradication is by the application of herbicides to the infested areas. The infested areas will need to be rechecked a number of times to insure that it has been successfully eradicated, spot spray re-growth.

Large, dense populations are best sprayed with a 5% solution of Glyphosate (Roundup®) mixed with water. Follow-up treatments should be conducted as needed with a 2% solution of glyphosate mixed with water. Triclopyr (Garlon®) at 1-2% mixed with water is also effective in particular for smaller infestations in grassland as triclopyr may damage but will not kill the grasses.

Michael Hickman